Four killed in Meghalaya ethnic clash

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

SHILLONG - Four people were killed and eight injured Wednesday in ethnic clashes between the Garo and Rabha tribals along the Meghalaya-Assam border, an official said.

Three Rabha youths died and eight (Rabhas) were injured after they were attacked by a mob at Golkugre area, police chief of Meghalayas East Garo Hills district Sylvester Nongtynger told IANS.

The Rabha youths were travelling in a bus from Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills in western Meghalaya, towards Assam, police said.

In another incident, “one person was shot dead in Assams Goalpara district bordering the violence-hit area in Meghalaya”, Goalpara Police Chief Luish Aind said.

In retaliation, the Rabhas went on a rampage torching several houses belonging to the Garos Torikas, Berubaris, Darakonas, Nebaris and Rongketchis.

Meghalaya Home Minister H.D.R Lyngdoh said the situation was “very tense” in the violence-hit areas.

Curfew was imposed in Mendipathar and adjoining areas bordering Assam’s Goalpara district Monday night after clashes broke out between the Garo and Rabha tribals. The curfew was relaxed for three hours Wednesday afternoon.

I am leaving for (Mendipathar) area to assess the security scenario. I appeal to the people not to pay heed to rumour mongers. People who incite trouble and disturb the peace will be booked, Lyngdoh told IANS.

He said three companies of the Border Security Force, besides two companies of the state police have been deployed in the violence-hit areas while the Army has been kept on standby.

More than 2,000 Rabha families have been displaced after more than 200 houses were allegedly torched by Garo tribals in retaliation for recent attacks on Garos by Rabha youths, police said.

Earlier in the day, officials and civil society groups, including the powerful Garo Students Union, met Goalpara district officials and the All Rabha Students Union at Goalpara circuit house and constituted a peace committee to diffuse the growing tension.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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